Full and free the invitation comes to us: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” What an invitation! It was this invitation that Christ gave to Enoch before the world was destroyed by a flood. That time was no more favorable to the development of Christian character than is the present time, yet we read that Enoch walked with God. Christ was as verily Enoch’s Saviour as He is our Saviour, and in His power, notwithstanding the corruption of that degenerate age, Enoch perfected a Christian character. The voice saying to us, “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness,” said the same words to Enoch, assuring him that if he followed the Saviour, he would not walk in the darkness of ignorance. The Lord instructed Enoch, and made him His watchman. He was a faithful witness for God, warning the inhabitants of the old world not to follow the example of the Cain-worshipers, but to serve the living God. “Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
It is our privilege to walk as did Enoch. Christ has assured us that those who walk in His steps are His disciples, His true representatives. He says, “I am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.” Is not this sufficient assurance? Should not these words fill us with holy peace and joy?
“Herein is My Father glorified,” Christ said, “that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” The greatest sin we can cherish is the sin of unbelief. Many say, I do not know how to be a Bible Christian. It is because you do not receive Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour. Therefore your experience is full of inconsistency and unbelief. No one can have joy and peace who does not receive and obey Christ’s words.
We need the riches of faith and love. But we can obtain these only by surrendering the will to Christ. When we take the Saviour at His word, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight, complete unity will prevail. We shall constantly grow more like our Leader. His character has been clearly revealed, and we have been plainly told that we are to be like Him. Our watchword is, “Go forward.” Pressing onward to the Light of life means victory. We see in our hearts much that is dark and forbidding, and there is much we do not see at all, but God is greater than our hearts, and He knows all things. Do not deplore the crookedness of your past life; for this does not bring strength, but weakness. All unbelief is moral deformity. In bemoaning our past, there is no healing balm, but only sorrow and sin, that makes the heart sick and faint. Thus we become more and more discouraged. Might we not better look to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world?
Unbelief greatly dishonors God. Our lack of faith is withholding from us precious blessings which are hanging over us, and which God would have us receive and appreciate. When we practise the Word, we shall be perfect in Him who is our righteousness. If the Word is believed by us, soberly, meekly, if it is received and appropriated, it will give us a precious experience, that will make us wise unto salvation. But, like the children of Israel, we are in danger of indulging a spirit of unbelief and murmuring.
The fruit of righteousness is quietness and assurance forever. If we had exercised more faith, if we had trusted less to our own wisdom, God would have manifested His power on human hearts. “These signs shall follow them that believe: In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” It is faith, an active faith, that makes the gracious promise of any avail. We have been losing faith, in the place of increasing it. Our lack of faith is the reason why we have not seen more of the power of God. We exercise more faith in our own working than in God’s working for us.
A great Teacher from heaven visited our world. Jesus Christ is His name. He is the Lord our Righteousness. He was visited by the prince of darkness, and was tempted in all points like as we are. He reached to the very depths of human woe, and all who carry their sorrows to Him, as to One who can be touched with the feelings of their infirmities, will receive the oil and wine of consolation. They will know from experience that Christ is their personal Saviour, one who comforteth those who are cast down, who bindeth up the broken-hearted. This experience grows as they in turn impart that which they have received. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. He is made unto them wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. They can say, “I know in whom I have believed.”
“What think ye of Christ?” What is He to you personally? Is your faith centered in Him as your Redeemer? Do you believe that He saves you from sin, that He imputes to you His righteousness?
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith results in spiritual knowledge. By faith we are encouraged to grasp still more; for we behold God in the promise, and are armed with stability. The true Christian knows in whom he believes. He has the evidence of things unseen; and a knowledge that is regenerating, overpowering, follows this. This may not be believed by skeptics, but it is to the receiver no speculation, no mere theory. The Gospel offers to him a remedy for the moral disorders which sin has caused. He does not merely read the Bible, but experiences the Bible. He has not merely heard of the righteousness of Christ; by faith he has opened the windows of his soul to the Sun of Righteousness. Skeptics may stand back and argue the impossibility of the remedy he has taken, but their words are nothing to him against experience. It is a matter of knowledge with him. The believing man, even tho he be unlearned, has a knowledge that can not be wrested from him. The one who trusts his Saviour implicitly finds the gate of heaven ajar, and flooded with glory from the throne of God.
— E.G. White, Signs of the Times, October 4, 1899